PIANOS FOR PEOPLE
Tom Townsend is Co-founder of Rodgers Townsend/DDB, a prominent St. Louis advertising agency which is part of the global Omnicom network. Tom has created award-winning advertising for AT&T, The Hartford, Enterprise, Energizer, Purina, McDonald’s and other national brands. Rodgers Townsend was awarded the Spirit of St. Louis Award for donating well over a million dollars worth of pro bono hours to St. Louis organizations including Forest Park Forever, The Foster Care Coalition, The Black World History Museum, The St. Louis Black Repertory Company, The Regional Arts Council, The Arts and Education Council of greater St. Louis, Circus Flora, and others. Additional St. Louis-based clients have included Washington University, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, Express Scripts, Monsanto, Ameren, Arch Grants, and Peabody Energy.
In July 2014 Tom Townsend moved on from the advertising agency he co-founded 18 years ago in order to focus his efforts on managing the rapid growth and long-term success of Pianos for People and the Alex Townsend Memorial Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Outreach International and is a marketing consultant for special projects to various organizations.
Tom holds an Honorary Degree of Letters from the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he taught Advertising for a short time. He graduated cum laude from Duke University.
Jeanne Knowles Townsend is a St. Louis attorney. She is also in her eighth year as Board Chair of the Oliverian School, a small alternative boarding school in Pike, New Hampshire. She served on the Board of the St. Louis Black Repertory Company for several years, as well, and continues to be an active supporter of the Black Rep.
As an attorney, Ms. Townsend practiced maritime law, and was the first female partner of Goldstein and Price in St. Louis. She is licensed to practice in both Missouri and Illinois.
Her passion continues to be education, particularly for creative kids struggling and often overlooked by traditional education.
Patricia Weeks Eastman is on the piano faculties of St. Louis University and Webster University where she is founder and co-director of the Webster Piano Ensemble Festival and Classical Piano Camps. In 2000, Pat formed a professional piano duo with colleague Donna Vince. They perform regularly in and around the St. Louis area. She has performed at the Sheldon, on From the Garden - Live! and with the Winston–Salem Symphony, the Brevard Festival Orchestra, the Webster Symphony and as pianist for the Concurso Nacional de Violin de Mexico. She has been a collaborative staff pianist at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Southeast French Horn workshop, the vocal studios of Betty Allen and Charles Bressler and the Long Island Symphonic Choral Association under the direction of Gregg Smith.
She holds the BM in Piano Performance and MM in Performance and Pedagogy. Pat maintains a successful private teaching studio, is former Vice-President of the St. Louis Area Music Teachers Association, and an in-demand judge for piano festivals and competitions.
A graduate of Princeton University and Columbia University Law School, James’ love affair with the Arts began with his collegiate studies of Greek literature and its playwrights. His legal career started in Philadelphia and then to Atlantic City where James served as Vice President & General Counsel for Harrah's Atlantic City and later Harrah's Nevada in Las Vegas. After serving as corporate counsel for Argosy Gaming Company, James retired from the active practice of law and taught Western Civilization, World History and American History at Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois.
James’ studied in South America as an AFS exchange student when he was 16 and has traveled extensively. Decades later, he is actively engaged in helping international high school students come to America and encouraging American students to study abroad through the various AFS programs. A lifelong lover of the Arts, James is the Board President of The St. Louis Black Repertory Company (“The Black Rep”) which is one of the most prestigious African American theater companies in the nation and the only one that has provided 39 seasons of continuous performances.
Mark and two business partners built Forward Research, Inc., a custom marketing research firm focused on providing strategic marketing insights to support new product concept development, market positioning, branding and messaging. Fortune 500 clients include Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Bayer and Monsanto. In 2008, the firm of 25 employees was sold to Ipsos, 3rd largest global marketing research firm worldwide, and Mark continued as a Sr. Vice President. In a prior life, Mark obtained an education degree and taught in a public elementary school setting.
Although not one musically talented bone in his body, Mark loves all types of music and attends the Chautauqua Institution music festival annually, enjoying classical, voice, and master classes on the grounds of Chautauqua. Mark is currently involved in St. Louis community policing and predatory lending task forces to address recommendations that came out of the Ferguson Commission.
Mark graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from The Colorado College and has an MBA, with a concentration in marketing, from Washington University in St. Louis.
Hope has served in numerous leadership roles in the business world, culminating in Senior Vice President roles with The May Company department stores, and Caleres after moving to St. Louis in 1999. Since 2015, she has been lecturing at the University of Missouri, Columbia, teaching several courses in the Textile and Apparel Management Department as well as the Crosby MBA program in the Trulaske College of Business. She has served in leadership roles in many non-profit and educational organizations: Chairperson of the Textile and Apparel Advisory Board at the University of Missouri, founder and president of Women in the Footwear Industry, St. Louis chapter, and is currently a business mentor for the St. Louis Fashion Fund incubator.
Hope started piano lessons at a young age and her early remembrances are infused with music, with accomplished pianists on her father’s side of the family. After graduating from Brown University with a BA in Music, she continued her lifelong study of the instrument.
Michael is the former President, MasterCard Payment Transaction Services for Global Products and Solutions. In this role, he was responsible for leading the powerful debit and prepaid processing platforms that extend MasterCard’s value proposition beyond its traditional role as a network processor. Over his 30 years at MasterCard, he held the positions of group executive, Global Processing Business; Chief Technology Officer; Group executive, Strategic Account Management; and Senior Vice President within Computer and Network Services.
An accountant by profession, he has more than 34 years of experience, over 30 of them with MasterCard, in areas including corporate finance, U.S. regional finance, and operations.
He has previously served on the board of directors and executive committee of the local Better Business Bureau as well as the St. Louis University Institute of International Business advisory board. He currently serves on the finance committee of Family Forward and the Sheldon Arts Foundation Board of Directors
Michael, an accomplished guitarist, plays in the Pianos for People house band at the highly popular Piano Slams.
LEADERSHIP AND STAFF
Sheena Duncan has steep experience in non-profit management with expertise in strategic planning, development, event production and financial management. She has negotiated several principal partnerships, raised over $20 million in major gifts and bequests, and has an outstanding track record of success in growing organizations.
In her adopted Australia and native Canada, she has held senior management positions with leading cultural organizations including: The Sydney Symphony Orchestra, National Institute of Dramatic Art, Australia (NIDA), National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, Alberta Theatre Projects and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
An accomplished classical pianist, she majored in Music at the University of Toronto, and is a four-time medalist for top marks with the Royal Conservatory of Music, Canada.
Sheena moved to St. Louis from Sydney, Australia in 2013 and has been leading the organization since January 2014, providing a significant amount of her time pro-bono.
Kayia Smith studied music at Southeast Missouri State University and Florissant Valley Community College, and business at Lindenwood University. She taught music for 7 years in the Riverview Gardens School District (Grades K-12) and has worked as a church pianist for 29 years in the St Louis area. She previously owned and operated her own music school for nine years where she served well over 400 students offering instruction in piano, voice, guitar and drums. She is passionate about music and loves to work with people and inspire them musically.
Kayia has been with PFP since June 2014 and has overseen the recruitment and exponential growth of the student body, depth to the programming, the introduction of summer camps, and development of the Ferguson Studio. Kayia leads a team of nine teachers.
Hannah Herum, Ferguson Lead Teacher and Piano Donations Co-ordinator (P/T)
Hannah holds an M.A. in Religions and Cultures from Covenant Seminary, and a Bachelors of French and Music from UMSL. She is a St. Louis-native who has taught private piano independently for years, worked as Music Coordinator at several churches. She has taught at PFP since 2016. She is now the lead teacher at our Ferguson location and also co-ordinates the Piano Donations program. Hannah is a composer and independent recording artist and has a passion for social justice.
Elizabeth Welsh, Teacher and Development Assistant (P/T) has been teaching piano for twenty years both in a private setting as well as at Pianos for People for three years. She studied piano performance at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana under Joel Shapiro and Andrew DeGrado. She then came back to St. Louis where she began studying with Daniel Schene and built a private studio of thirty-five students. After having two beautiful girls, she took some time off and feels lucky to have now found a home with Pianos for People where she teaches an early childhood class, has private students and assists with development and events. Elizabeth is certified in the Suzuki early childhood program Every Child Can and is a member of the Missouri Federation of Music Teachers. Elizabeth believes in the importance of music lessons for the development of life skills, self-confidence and as a means to express oneself.